Time for Top Ten Tuesday– a weekly feature/meme over at my other blog, The Broke and the Bookish!
This week is about Top Ten Favorite Heroines in literature. I only named five–for reasons I’ll discuss after I list my top five.
1. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice: What an endearing heroine! She is by far my favorite. She is intelligent, playful and is not afraid to go against the mainstream way of thinking–even if it means offending her family by not marrying a certain fellow.
2. Jo March from Little Women: How can you not love Jo? She certainly marched to a different tune. I loved her because she has strong mind and is independent. She, like Elizabeth Bennet, chooses to sometimes go against what society would have of her. I like that she trounced upon the model of what a woman should look like and what she should do.
3. Lisbeth from The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo: She’s just kickass in the way she saves the day! She is smart and different and I just love her. I don’t want to give too much away about her.
4. Matilda: What a precocious little girl and a charming little heroine! I also love her passion for books! She’s clever and stands up to the adults!
5. Katniss from The Hunger Games: Katniss is a kickass heroine if there ever was one! She fights hard and does the right thing! She is kind and selfless. She certainly has street smarts!
I realized two things that explain why compiling this list was so hard for me:
1. I do not read many books with strong female characters. This will change.
2. I also struggled with the question of what a heroine actually IS and how broad the definition can be. I think that the classic heroine and the modern heroine are different in some respect. I think the classic heroine wasn’t always facing some big evil entity but sometimes it could have been some weakness, like hubris, that they overcame. This isn’t saying that they didn’t face danger but I feel like this model is seen frequently in modern novels–in fantasy in particular. I think that Elizabeth and Jo are different types of characters than Katniss or Lisbeth but I think that they all display the same sort of characteristics–self sacrifice, intelligence, confidence, a will of their own, the desire for what is right, honor, etc. I think the modern heroine evolved from the classic heroine and may have the same basic characteristics but I do find them to be different.
What do you think a hero/heroine is? What characteristics should they embody? Do you think I’m wrong in thinking that the classic heroine and the modern heroine are different?